HMS Marie Antoinette (1793)

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History
French Navy Ensign (1790-1794)France
Name: Marie Antoinette
Namesake: Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
Fate: Requisitioned 1793 at Saint-Domingue
France
Name: Convention Nationale
Acquired: By requisition 1793
Captured: By a squadron under Commodore John Ford at Môle-Saint-Nicolas in September 1793
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Marie Antoinette
Fate: Crew mutinied and took her to a French port in the West Indies on 27 December 1797
General characteristics [1][2]
Class and type: 10-gun schooner
Tons burthen:
  • French:c. 150 (French; of load)
  • British:187 bm
Length:
  • French:80' (French)
  • British:85 ft 5 in (26.04 m)
Beam:
  • French: 21'7" (French)
  • British:23 ft 0 in (7.01 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Two-masted schooner
Complement: 50
Armament:
  • French service: 10 x 6 and 4-pounder guns[3]
  • British service: 10 x 4-pounder guns

HMS Marie Antoinette was a 10-gun two-masted sloop.[4] She was built in France and was originally called Marie Antoinette. During the French Revolution, she was rerequisitoned and renamed Convention Nationale. A British squadron under Commodore Ford captured her in 1793. The Royal Navy took her into service under her original name, Marie Antoinette. She took part in operations around Saint-Domingue until her crew mutinied in 1797 and carried her into a French port. Her subsequent fate is unknown.

French service[edit]

Marie Antoinette was the merchant schooner Marie Antoinette.[1] In 1793, she was requisitioned at Saint-Domingue and commissioned in the French Navy as the 20-gun corvette, Convention Nationale.[5]

Capture and commissioning[edit]

In September 1793, at the request of French Royalists, Commodore Ford's squadron attacked Saint-Domingue and Jérémie in the Caribbean.[6] On 23 September 1793, the British captured four merchant vessels at L'Islet, and on 29 September, seven at Flamande Bay. At Môle-Saint-Nicolas, on 23 September, HMS Europa, HMS Goelan, and HMS Flying Fish had captured the schooner Convention Nationale,[7] which was under the command of Mons. Anquetin. She was registered on 12 May 1794.[2]

Ford gave command of the renamed Marie Antoinette to Lieutenant John Perkins "an Officer of Zeal, Vigilance and Activity."[3] In 1794 Marie Antoinette made up part of the squadron commanded by the newly promoted Rear-Admiral John Ford and accompanying Brigadier-General John Whyte that briefly captured Port-au-Prince. Records indicate that Marie Antoinette did not play any significant role in the siege.[8] At the time some forty-five vessels lay in harbour and these were all made prizes.[8]

In 1796 she made up part of a small squadron that captured the schooner Charlotte and brig Sally.[9] Perkins remained with her until he was promoted master and commander into the 14-gun brig Drake in early 1797.

It is not clear who was captain of Marie Antoinette on 27 February when she impressed two seamen from the ship Fame, of New York, and under master John Ablin.[10]

Mutiny and fate[edit]

Command of Marie Antoinette passed to Lieutenant John McInerheny. On 7 July 1797 some of the crew, under the leadership of her quartermaster, a Mr. Jackson, mutinied.[11] They murdered Lieutenant McInerheny (also M'Inerkeny or McInderhenny) and another officer by throwing them overboard,[12] and restrained the remaining officers and loyal crew. The mutineers then took her into the French port of Gonaïves in Saint-Domingue.[11] The British were able to capture one of the mutineers, William Jacobs; in February 1799 they hanged and gibbeted him.[11]

The subsequent fate of Marie Antoinette and that of most of the crew is unknown.[13] The mutiny itself is analogous to the mutiny in September of the same year by the crew of HMS Hermione. Hermione's crew also murdered their captain and took their ship into an enemy port, La Guaira in Venezuela.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Demerliac (1804), n°694, p. 109.
  2. ^ a b Winfield (2008), p.356.
  3. ^ a b "No. 13600". The London Gazette. 10 December 1793. p. 1096. 
  4. ^ Ships of the Royal Navy, Colledge, p.217
  5. ^ Roche, vol.1, p.127
  6. ^ Clowes (1897-1903), Volume 4, p. 214.
  7. ^ "No. 13901". The London Gazette. 14 June 1796. p. 570. 
  8. ^ a b "No. 13684". The London Gazette. 17 July 1794. pp. 723–725. 
  9. ^ "No. 15717". The London Gazette. 7 July 1804. p. 841. 
  10. ^ Lowrie (1832), Vol. 2, p.127.
  11. ^ a b c Hepper (1994), p. 84.
  12. ^ Guttridge (2006), p.77.
  13. ^ Clowes (1897-1903, Volume 4, p. 548.

References[edit]

  • Clowes, W. Laird, et al. (1897-1903) The royal navy: a history from the earliest times to the present. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co.; London: S. Low, Marston and Co.).
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 
  • Demerliac, Alain (2004). La Marine de la Révolution: Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1792 A 1799 (in French). Éditions Ancre. ISBN 2-906381-24-1. 
  • Hepper, David J. (1994) British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859. (Rotherfield: Jean Boudriot). ISBN 0-948864-30-3
  • Guttridge, Leonard F. (2006) Mutiny: A History of Naval Insurrection. (Naval Institute Press). ISBN 978-1-59114-348-2
  • Lowrie, William ed., (1832) American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. From the 1st session of the 1st to the 3rd session of the 13th congress, inclusive: commencing March 3, 1789, and ending March 3, 1815. (Gales and Seaton).
  • Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours. 1. Group Retozel-Maury Millau. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922. 
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1.